Better late than never :-)
Madrileños sure love their festivals. Last Sunday, I went with my host dad, Ruben (the oldest son in the host family), and Dylan (one of the 5 study abroad kids in the house) to the Feria de la tapa (tapas fair/festival) and the Feria del libro (citywide book fair)
The tapas fair was held at the Palacio de deportes, a multi-purpose arena that used to be used for Real Madrid basketball but is now used for large events. It was organized by the company where I have my internship (Elipse Iniciativas). The tapas were pretty good and cheap (only 1 euro each). I saw my boss, who gave us some free passes which made the tapas an even better deal. I particularly enjoyed a tapa called a bomba, a fried ball of cheese with peppers (or some sort of filling) inside.
Next we wandered over to the Feria del libro in retiro park. Lasting two weeks (it ended today, June 10) and featuring more than 350 book sellers and daily book signings, the fair is a huge event. We didn’t buy anything, but we did stop to take pictures of the pictures of the world’s oceans that were blown up and placed down the street to advertise a book. We finished up the afternoon wandering through Retiro.
My next stop was to meet some friends from the program to go see a flamenco show. We saw an interpretation of Carmen (the opera) as a flamenco dance show. The show itself was pretty amazing; I hadn’t known it was possible for a person to move that fast to a beat. In the process of being seated, we inadvertantly became ugly Americans after the usher sat us in the wrong row and some people came to make us move. It was all very ironic, because we were about to ask a lady sitting next to us to move as we thought she was in our friend’s seat. It turned out she was four rows in front of our friend’s seat (and our seats, too). Oh well.
Then it was back home for dinner.